John Britton

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Britton, John (1771–1857). English architectural and topographical writer. His Architectural Antiquities of Great Britain (1807–26) and Cathedral Antiquities (1836) were major source-books for the Gothic Revival. He taught R. W. Billings. See Pugin, A. C.


Britton (1807–26);
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004)

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John Britton, 1771–1857, English antiquary and topographer. The long list of his writings includes biographies, critical works on art and literature, and the descriptions of landscapes and buildings for which he is famous. The Beauties of Wiltshire (3 vol., 1801–25) was written with E. W. Brayley. The two friends wrote part of Beauties of England and Wales (18 vol., in 25, 1801–15), but because of difficulties with the publishers, they did not complete the series. Britton was influential in the movement to preserve ancient monuments.

See his autobiography (3 parts, 1849–50).